Commemorating the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bombings: 2021 Events in Canadian Cities

This year we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the use of atomic weapons over Japan. A 14-kiloton uranium bomb exploded at Hiroshima on August 6, and a 20-kiloton plutonium bomb on August 9 was dropped over Nagasaki. As many as 225,000 people, most of whom were civilians, died. 

Debates continue to this day over the impact of these bombings on the Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Not in doubt is that tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were intentionally targeted, and slaughtered or maimed by two small nuclear detonations.

In its 1996 Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

That same year, in 1996, the first meeting of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was held. CNANW’s 17 member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace research and women’s organizations – all of which work in various ways toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Today, nearly 13,000 nuclear warheads still remain, more than 90% of them belong to Russia and the United States. Average explosive yields are many times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped over Japan in 1945. 

Across the world, commemorative events are held to remind us of the terrible cost and ongoing dangers of nuclear arms races and the potential impact of even a limited nuclear missile exchange. Yet, the nine official and unofficial nuclear-armed states are intent on retaining, rebuilding and modernizing their warheads.

In Canada this week there are commemorative events in

Ottawa, Lantern Ceremony, Friday August 6, 7:30 PM (ET) 5th Avenue/Queen Elizabeth Driveway along the Rideau Canal.

Toronto, Hope for the Earth, August 6, 7:00 PM (ET)

Vancouver, Seaforth Peace Park Flame, August 6 from 6 to 7:30 PM.
(Cornwall and Burrard in Vancouver Centre)

Calgary, Peace Memorial Weekend, August 6-8 (Lantern Ceremony, Film Fest, Messages for Peace video)

Edmonton: Project Ploughshares’ annual commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a webinar on Saturday, August 7th at 1 p.m (MT), with Cesar Jaramillo (Executive Director of Project Ploughshares), Hon. Douglas Roche, Kirsten Mosey and Paula Kirman, president of Project Ploughshares Edmonton.

Halifax: Nova Scotia Voice of Women have organized a bell ringing at City Hall from 11AM to Noon on August 6.

Canadian premiere of The Vow from Hiroshima screening

We encourage all to participate and to contribute in ways that speed us towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

Hil Times op-ed link:

Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament

On the historic occasions of,

The 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people,

The 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations whose stated purpose is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and whose first Resolution sought the elimination of atomic weapons, 

And the 50th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that binds almost all of the world’s nations,

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons issues to the Government of Canada the following Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament:

Continue reading “Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament”

Call to sign Prohibition Treaty

ORGANIZATIONS that have signed The CNANW CALL to sign the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty
(updated March 21, 2018)

The African Community Association of Calgary
The Anglican Church of Canada
Les Artistes pour la Paix
Atomic Photographer’s Guild
Brandon/Westman Chapter, Council of Canadians
Canada Peace Alliance/L’Alliance canadienne pour la paix
Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Friends Service Committee
Canadian Peace Initiative
Canadian Pugwash Group
Canadian Unitarian Council
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
Chilliwack, BC, Council of Canadians
Citizens in Action Montreal
Climate Justice Saskatoon
Committee for Future Generations
Comox Valley Council of Canadians
Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area
Congregation of Our Lady of Sion
Council of Canadians
County Sustainability Group
Cowichan Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Denman Island Peace Group
Development and Peace
Edmonton Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Fédération des femmes du Québec Greenspiration
First United Church, Salmon Arm, BC
Group of 78
Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative
Inverness County, N.S., Council of Canadians
Kent County NB Chapter, Council of Canadians
Knox United Church, Calgary
National Council of Women of Canada
London, ON Chapter, Council of Canadians
Mission and Social Justice Committee, St. Basil’s Catholic Parish, Ottawa
Montreal Chapter, Council of Canadians
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Pax Christi Montreal
Pax Christi Toronto
Peace Quest Cape Breton
PEI Chapter, Council of Canadians
People For Peace (London, ON)
Peterborough and Kawarthas Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Physicians for Global Survival
Ploughshares Calgary Society
Powell River Chapter, Council of Canadians
Project Ploughshares
Project Ploughshares Saskatoon
Quill Plains (Wynyard), SK, Council of Canadians
Religions for Peace Canada
new Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
The Rideau Institute
Saskatoon Chapter, Council of Canadians
Saskatoon Parklands Eco-left Collective
Saskatoon Peace Coalition
Science for Peace
Sierra Club of Ontario
Sisters of Charity – Halifax
Sisters of Service of Canada
Social Environmental Alliance (Victoria)
Soka Gakkai International Association of Canada
South Niagara, ON Chapter, Council of Canadians
South Shore, NS Chapter, Council of Canadians
St. Andrews United Church, Calgary
St. David’s United Church, Calgary
The United Church of Canada
Ursuline Sisters of Bruno
Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
Veterans Against Nuclear Arms – Saskatoon
Victoria-Council of Canadians
Westmount Initiative for Peace/Initiative de Westmount pour la paix
Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Canadian Section
World Federalist Movement – Canada

Resources: Divesting from Companies producing Nuclear Weapons

Move the Nuclear Weapons Money booklet published by Internaitonal Peace Bureau (IPB), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), and World Futures Council (WFC)
Brochure on Nuclear Divestment written by Hallgeir Langeland, Member of the Norwegian Parliament Keith Locke, Member of the New Zealand Parliament. 
Don’t Bank on the Bomb – a Dutch group offering resources on nuclear divestment. See their 2016 Report published by PAX, The Netherlands, with research by Profundo in The Netherlands.
Powerpoint Presentation by Kerry Duncan McCarney introducing key resources available on divestment.
Powerpoint presentation on Activist Investing by Devan Legare, CFP, CPA, CMA of Manulife Securities in Calgary describing investor activism, what are the different types of activism and the impacts on corporate policies.
Handout explaining divestment concept and offering a graphic of the top 10 nuclear-weapons producing companies; call on people to review their investments.


CNANW Call September 2017

INDIVIDUALS supporting Canada signing a Treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons can petition Prime Minister Trudeau [here]. For ORGANIZATIONAL endorsements of the Call, contact Bev Delong. To see the list of groups that have signed: [here].


Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons CALL ON CANADA TO SIGN The Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
[CALL] [FAQ] [ad in the Hill Times]
List of signatories to this call [here]

On July 7, 2017, 122 nations, in an historic action, voted at the U.N. to adopt a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty prohibits the use, threat of use, development, testing, production, manufacturing and possession of nuclear weapons.  Nuclear weapons have been unconditionally stigmatized as standing outside international humanitarian law. Governments and civil society have together recognized the “catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences” of the use of any nuclear weapon.

When 50 states have ratified it, the Treaty will enter into force and all the States Parties will be committed to “measures for the verified, time-bound and irreversible elimination of nuclear-weapon programmes.” The U.N. High Representative for Disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu, hailed the Treaty as “a beacon of hope for all those who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of a nuclear weapon-free world.”

But the nuclear weapon states oppose the treaty, claiming it is “premature” and will undermine existing legal instruments for disarmament. This opposition is groundless; actually the new Treaty will shore up the beleaguered Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the nuclear weapon states have defied for nearly fifty years by refusing to meet their legal obligation to pursue good faith comprehensive negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.
The existing NATO nuclear policies, holding that nuclear weapons are the “supreme guarantee” of security, are another obstacle for NATO states to sign the Treaty. Canada must now decide if NATO nuclear policies will be given a higher priority than the country’s longstanding “unequivocal undertaking” to negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

We call on the Government of Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to state that Canada will, through dialogue and changes to its own policies and practices, persist in its efforts to bring NATO into conformity with the Treaty, with a view to Canada ratifying the Treaty as soon as possible.

We also call on Canada to re-energize its commitment to nuclear disarmament, specifically by enlarging its work internationally on nuclear disarmament verification and leading efforts to initiate negotiations for a Fissile Material Treaty in the U.N. General Assembly in 2018.

Practical Steps to Zero Nuclear Weapons

Dear Friends,

Are you concerned about the threat of nuclear weapons use? Biological and chemical weapons are banned. We believe nuclear weapons – threatening thousands of lives and our environment with even a small exchange – should be banned too.

We now have an extremely rare opportunity for progress. President Obama has called for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World and he has the support of many international leaders.

The Government of Canada can speak out at three important events this year:* during the ongoing review of the NATO Strategic Concept (only occurs once every 10 years),
* at the NonProliferation Treaty Review Conference in May (only occurs every 5 years and
* during the G8 Summit.

We ask you to send emails that first welcome Canada’s ongoing support for an effective Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and for the Government’s efforts to improve its effectiveness through important institutional reforms.Then please urge the Government of Canada to:
a) reaffirm Canada’s traditional commitment to a world without nuclear weapons,
b) support the call for an end to nuclear weapons reliance in NATO and the removal of US nuclear weapons in Europe, and
c) support the proposal for preparatory work on a nuclear weapons convention and work on the verification requirements for nuclear disarmament.For a sample letter, you can refer to this one.
Prime Minister Harper at <>
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon <>
Ambassador to NATO <>
Ambassador for Disarmament c/o <>
Email them all in one email: click here

Find your own Member of Parliament: herePrefer to mail your letters?
Letters to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs can be mailed postage-free to:
House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6.
Letters to the Ambassadors can be mailed to:
Jonathan Tan, Senior Policy Officer | Agent principal des politiques
Non-Proliferation and Disarmament | Direction de la non-prolifération et du désarmement
Fax: 613-944-1835
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0G2

For information on the current Canadian context, 
read this article
by Doug Roche and Ernie Regehr.

For further information please go to

We need at least 5000 letters sent – so please share this with your family and friends. Let’s support the international call for a nuclear weapons-free world!

Bev Delong,
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


Sample letter to the Prime Minister

Sample letter to the Prime Minister and other Members of Parliament
Note: it is believed that the best approach is to mail by post a hand-written letter to the Member of Parliament you wish to contact. You can also fax your message or send it by email.

Email addresses: you can find these linked here.
Prime Minister:

Mail may also be sent postage-free to any Member at the following address:

House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

To the Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of National Defence
Minister of Finance

Dear Sir(s)/Madam:

I am very concerned about the risk of use of nuclear weapons. Although some reductions have occurred, it is extremely worrying to hear:
a) that NATO continues to maintain and plan the possible use of nuclear weapons;
b) that the U.S. has no plan for destruction of its current stockpile and indeed proposes using nuclear weapons to respond not only to a nuclear attack but also to chemical or biological attacks;
c) that the U.S. is proposing research and development of smaller nuclear weapons which would make nuclear weapons more “usable” and
d) that certain nuclear weapons states have refused to comply with their legal obligation to negotiate the agreements required for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

I believe that Canada should be making extraordinary efforts to lessen this risk. Could you please advise whether:
a) the Government will now put significant funding into political, diplomatic and technical support for the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention, and
b) the Government will now speak out clearly against the maintenance and possible use of nuclear weapons by NATO?

Yours truly,

Tips for Meeting Politicians

Tips for Meeting Politicians
Once you feel you have enough information about nuclear weapons, you and your group may decide to try and meet with your Member of Parliament (MP) or a local Senator. If so, here are some tips that may be helpful.

• First, do some research on the person you are meeting. The Parliamentary website ( is an excellent source of information about MPs, Senators, Parliamentary committees etc.
• The following URL takes you right to an alphabetical list of MPs. Click on the letter of your MP’s surname, and it will take you to a short political biography of your member. This will be useful in tailoring your questions to your MP’s interests and parliamentary responsibilities.
•You can also search by constituency.
• The biography will tell you if your MP is on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, or the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs. If so, you may want to find our what the Committee is currently discussing. This is also available from the Parliamentary website, under “committee business”.

• In preparation to meet your MP, you should:
• Decide who will go to the meeting. (A group of 2-4 people is a good size, but a larger group is OK too.)
• Decide on the main points you want to make, the questions you want to ask, and what you’d like the politician to do. Try and anticipate some follow-up to the meeting, so you have a reason to contact the office again.
• Assign responsibility among your group for who will speak to which points, and who will ask which questions.
• Consider taking visual material to the meeting.
• Consider putting together a small folder of good information to leave with the MP. It could include a description of who you are, and accurate background information about the issues you will talk about. Even if MPs don’t have time to read it, their assistants may.
• Be on time for the meeting. Even better, be a few minutes early! And don’t overstay your welcome.

• Once you know what you want to talk about, e-mail or phone the MP’s Constituency office and request a meeting. Half an hour to an hour is about as much time as you can expect to get.
• MPs’ e-mail addresses almost all follow a formula. It is: the first five letters of their last name, followed by their first initial Thus Mary Anderson would be
• If you can’t find the local phone number, the House of Commons information service (613 992-4793) can give you phone and fax contacts for all MPs in their Ottawa offices, and in their constituencies.

• Offer to send additional material, to follow up points of particular interest to the MP.
• You might also consider inviting your MP to public meetings or seminars your are holding, as a way of making them aware of community concerns about nuclear weapons. Even if they can’t attend, they will know the meetings are taking place.